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VIDEO: Huge Wildfires Across South Wales, Australia with Record Heat

Tue January 08 2013 7:05 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=57915
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Firefighters are battling wildfires raging across southeastern Australia as authorities evacuated national parks and warned that blistering temperatures and high winds had led to “catastrophic” conditions in some areas.


Thousands of fire fighters were on standby across New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, where fire authorities said wildfire conditions were at the most severe rating available. All state forests and national parks were closed as a precaution and total fire bans were in place with temperatures expected to reach 113F (45C) in some areas.

A male volunteer firefighter from the NSW Rural Fire Service sustained severe burns to his hands and face while fighting a grass fire at Gundaroo, south-east of Yass. He was airlifted to the Burns Unit at Concord Hospital where he will undergo treatment.

Officials were bracing for winds up to 50mph during firefighting operations, which could fan the flames in unpredictable directions.

Fire and Rescue NSW is the seventh largest urban fire service in the world, with over 6,800 firefighters serving at 339 fire stations throughout the state, 408 support staff, and 6,000 community fire unit volunteers. Fire and Rescue NSW also works closely with the Rural Fire Service.

See also …

fire.nsw.gov.au

rfs.nsw.gov.au

Current Fires and Incidents in New South Wales Fire Service

More video …


Celsius: Vast swathes of central and south-eastern Australia were sweltering as temperatures in the outback hit 48 degrees. The average temperature across the country was 39 degrees. In the South Australian capital, Adelaide, temperatures exceeded 45 degrees, while Hobart in Tasmania had a peak of 41.8 degrees, its highest temperature in 120 years of record keeping. The previous was 40.8 degrees, set in 1976.


New South Wales State Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher told reporters in Sydney that despite hopes that the situation would improve, 90 per cent of New South Wales faced “severe or indeed higher” fire conditions.
More than 100 fires were blazing across the state on Tuesday, though only a handful of homes were under threat as of early afternoon.

CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

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